This delicious roasted beet salad is the perfect winter side dish. It’s made with arugula which is a nutrient-dense, cold tolerant, hardy green packed full of vitamin A, K and calcium. The beets are plump and full of robust flavor that’s perfectly balanced by the fresh goat cheese and toasted pecans. The salad is topped with a fresh, light orange dressing that adds the perfect citrus addition to the hearty beets.
This recipe makes six side salads or four lunch size salads.
8-10 ounces of fresh, raw arugula leaves
4-6 medium sized beets
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 ounce log of goat cheese, chilled or 1 ounce of crumbled goat cheese
1 cup of raw pecans for toasting
½ cup of fresh squeezed orange juice
Zest of half of one orange
3 tablespoons of light olive oil
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
2 teaspoons of maple syrup
Dash of salt
First, prepare the beets for roasting by scrubbing them clean, removing the stem and root ends and then chopping into 1” pieces.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and lay the beets out. Drizzle the olive oil over the beets and sprinkle generously with salt. Toss the beets in the oil and salt and then evenly distribute them on the cookie sheet. Roast at 425 degrees until they are fork tender. Once they’re done, carefully gather up the corners of the parchment paper and fold the beets into the paper making a little package for them to steam inside. Wrap the beet package in a tea towel and let them steam. Once cool, use your fingers to slide off the skins and discard them. Transfer the beets to a bowl until you’re ready to assemble the salad.
While the beets are roasting, you can toast the pecans. Pour the pecans into a dry skillet over medium heat. Gently toss the pecans as they warm up to toast each side. Shake and toss the pan for several minutes. Be careful to stay with them the entire time. They will easily burn. Once toasted, dump them in a bowl to cool.
Next, make the dressing. Using a jar with a lid, add all of the dressing ingredients and then attach the lid. Give it a good shake to mix the oil with the juice. Taste the dressing and adjust the ingredients to your liking.
When you’re ready to assemble your salad, remove the goat cheese from the refrigerator. If it needs to be crumbled, unwrap it and place it in a ceramic bowl. Use a fork to gently stab the log using a twisting motion each time to break up the cheese in the bowl. Set aside.
Distribute the arugula in the serving bowls and add the roasted beets, pecans and goat cheese. Finally, drizzle some of the dressing over each salad and serve!
Note: Since arugula is a very nutrient-dense green and it packs a uniquely, peppery taste. If it’s too much for you, break up the flavor by mixing in some lettuce or kale.